Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 250 — map & image data — nearby photos
ugly, careless patch in the middle of a newly-paved road
You know the old saying “If you want it to rain, wash the car”..., well, something along the same lines in Japan might be “If you want someone to hack up your street and leave it a bumpy, jumbled mess of uneven bone-jarring patches, pave it.”
A stretch of Teramachi St. near Anthony's kindergarten was, for years, one of the worst streets in Kyoto. It was paved recently, but before that – I really should have taken a picture – there wasn't an inch of the stretch I used that was original. It was a literal patchwork of years of cut-dig-patch cycles.
There's apparently a lot under Japanese roads – especially the smaller ones in residential areas – that someone always seems to need access to. One house needs to replace the water line... another the gas line... a third the sewer line... oops, the water line that was replaced two weeks ago was the wrong color, so it needs to be replaced again. It never seems to end. With each, the construction company that gets the job comes out, sets up their orange cones and disrupts traffic while they use a big cutter to slice through the road asphalt. After they do whatever they where hired to do, they dump some hot asphalt into the hole and run away. No one seems to care that they've now left a big uneven bump where the road used to be.
What I find particularly amazing is that when a road is repaved, it's almost inevitable that it will get one of these bumpy patches in very short order. I've seen it happen time and time again. You suffer through the construction while the road is repaved, and a week or two later, before your rejoicing at the beautiful, smooth, not-ugly-looking pavement has even started to subside, someone comes and puts a big ugly bone-jarring wart in it AND NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE! (except me, I guess).
And so it was with Teramachi St. It's the most convenient access for Anthony's school, but it was so bumpy that I tried to avoid it until it was paved recently, after which it was smoooooooth and wonderful. A few weeks later, right on schedule, boom, a big ugly bumpy patch in the newly-paved street and the newly-paved sidewalk. Sigh. At least this patch was smoother than most, but that counts for little because I'm sure it's only a short matter of time before the next dozen careless, bumpy patches. 🙁
So, I went and took a picture one day with the intent to write this post, but I waited to long to do the writing. Had I actually written and published the post when I took the picture last month, it would be with great satisfaction to report that this week, the ugly patch was replaced by a much smoother, much less ugly width-of-the-street patch. I've never seen that, and so would have taken credit for it. 🙂